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Old 06-13-2012, 02:26 AM
 
Location: Macao
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Generally, Jamaica has always been perceived as the 'cool' reggae ganja cool-people, dreadlocks, etc. Basically, ALL POSITIVE.

Haiti has always been perceived as voodoo, war, dictatorships, crime, even AIDS. Basically, ALL NEGATIVE.

That being said....when travelers talk about visiting the two countries....Jamaica seems to disappoint, and Haiti seems to surprise (in a good way). Maybe it's anticipation, and not meeting the expectation.

But, what do you think about these two countries and perceptions, etc.?
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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I live in French-speaking Canada (Quebec) and we have a lot of ties with Haiti, including a large immigrant community from there.

I hear of people going to Haiti all the time but it is mostly for visiting friends or family or to do humanitarian work.

The general consensus is that the people are very nice and welcoming but that the country is a horrible mess and not likely to get out of it anytime soon.

30 or 40 years ago, Haiti was a relatively popular "sunshine" destination for people in Quebec but no one goes there for this purpose anymore.

People from here do go to Jamaica for holidays. It has a reputation for being safer and better organized than Haiti, but you do have to be careful if you venture outside of your resort in Jamaica.

There are no real tourist resorts left in Haiti as far as I know.
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:25 AM
 
Location: Scotland
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Are you actually surprise Haiti is viewed negatively? Poorest country in the western hemisphere, one of the deadliest earthquakes ever has just ravaged the country and there is a crap load of crime.
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Old 06-13-2012, 05:35 PM
 
Location: Macao
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
People from here do go to Jamaica for holidays. It has a reputation for being safer and better organized than Haiti, but you do have to be careful if you venture outside of your resort in Jamaica.
That might be the bigger difference than. Both aren't safe for your 'general tourist'.

But Jamaica has 'tourist resorts', whereas Haiti doesn't. Perhaps.
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Old 06-13-2012, 06:16 PM
 
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Before the earthquake, Haiti had a kidnapping crisis involving foreign tourists. That really depressed the tourism numbers from about 2004 to 2009. Then, just as things were picking up a bit (especially since the adjacent Dominican Republic was gaining popularity, and the bus ride to Port-au-Prince from Santo Domingo was only a few hours), the quake hit, and the flood of relief workers massively increased the "foreigner price" for everything from accommodations to restaurants.

It will be a while before southern Haiti has a normal tourist economy again, and not just a bunch of quasi-tour/"aid" groups flying in by the plane-load with good intentions but not necessarily a lot of planning.

There are resorts around Haiti, but since the quake, they have generally raised their prices - often by a factor of three or four - to take advantage of aid workers whose employers pay the bill.
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Old 06-13-2012, 10:27 PM
 
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I have lived in both nations. i spend most of my time in the kingston area of Jamaica but more and ore i spend time in montego bay and westmoreland area. as far as Haiti Cap Haitien has been my home for over 6 years and i have spent much time in PAP.
My opinion is this Jamaica is great but the Kingston area can be very rough once you leave the rich districts of beverly hills/uptown kingston and new kingston. there is much violence in Jamaica mainly in kingston and a very high murder rate and you can encounter some very aggressive behavior.
but outside of kingston an even in Kingston i think most people in Jamaica are very kind and helpful and friendly.
I think Jamaica is more multi cultural and ethnic/racial and diverse than Haiti and more excepting of people of different backgrounds and nations/countries other than their own when compared to Haiti.
in the north of Haiti outside of PAP Haiti is much more peaceful and the crime and murder rate even in pap is much lower than it is in Jamaica.
many Haitian people are friendly and kind and helpful but i find that color lines and suspicion of non nationals is much stronger in Haiti and economic class lines are much harsher when you are white or non Haitian you are expected to follow a certain class and color guideline and dress act and live a specific way. Jamaica is very much about class and social economic difference but its not so over bearing as it is in Haiti.
I could go on forever about the pros and cons of each country and the difference but in the end i like Jamaica more than Haiti.
Jamaica has more to do and more diversity and more open to many different types of people.
Jamaica is more laid back and more freedom Haiti is uptight and has little tolerance for other ideas. i have much love for Haiti and many people in Haiti but i am happier in Jamaica plain and simple for many reasons.
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Old 06-13-2012, 10:32 PM
 
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i will say this though Jamaica gets much better press because of its tourism industry while Haiti gets nothing but bad press i think Haiti deserves better press than it gets because in many regions it is much more peaceful than many areas of Jamaica.
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Old 06-14-2012, 01:07 AM
 
Location: Macao
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blan View Post
but i find that color lines and suspicion of non nationals is much stronger in Haiti and economic class lines are much harsher when you are white or non Haitian you are expected to follow a certain class and color guideline and dress act and live a specific way. Jamaica is very much about class and social economic difference but its not so over bearing as it is in Haiti.
I could go on forever about the pros and cons of each country and the difference but in the end i like Jamaica more than Haiti.
Jamaica has more to do and more diversity and more open to many different types of people.
Jamaica is more laid back and more freedom Haiti is uptight and has little tolerance for other ideas. i have much love for Haiti and many people in Haiti but i am happier in Jamaica plain and simple for many reasons.
That certainly puts a bigger plus for Jamaica.

Yeah, I find that occassionally as well, that a person can be pigeonholed, and expected to be a certain way.

I notice that sometimes when I'm traveling around, and I travel very much 'on the cheap', I find that in some countries, people are just in complete awe and shock that a foreigner would prefer NOT to take any taxi, and just walk around for hours and hours.

In some countries, a foreigner walking around, causes no problems whatsoever. In others, it'll invite all kinds of people trying to sell something, get you into a taxi every two seconds, and just react in some ways that can really grind on a person who just wants to explore, look around, check things out, without all the excessive attention.

Not sure how Jamaica or Haiti are with that, but it sounds like Jamaica might be slightly better with that.
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Old 06-14-2012, 01:34 AM
 
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I've never been to Haiti but I'm guilty of thinking of Haiti as one big unsafe slum.

Jamaica had some slum areas that were shocking to me, but I never felt unsafe in those areas.

I wouldn't say Jamaica was a disappointment. But then again I partake in all the things Jamaica is known for. Plus the people are unbelievably nice and welcoming. I can see why some people, who never leave the resort towns, would be disappointed, but I'll be going back for another visit after I've crossed a few other places off my bucket list.
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Old 06-14-2012, 03:19 PM
 
398 posts, read 553,327 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
That certainly puts a bigger plus for Jamaica.

Yeah, I find that occassionally as well, that a person can be pigeonholed, and expected to be a certain way.

I notice that sometimes when I'm traveling around, and I travel very much 'on the cheap', I find that in some countries, people are just in complete awe and shock that a foreigner would prefer NOT to take any taxi, and just walk around for hours and hours.

In some countries, a foreigner walking around, causes no problems whatsoever. In others, it'll invite all kinds of people trying to sell something, get you into a taxi every two seconds, and just react in some ways that can really grind on a person who just wants to explore, look around, check things out, without all the excessive attention.

Not sure how Jamaica or Haiti are with that, but it sounds like Jamaica might be slightly better with that.
i am not rich i am middle class but in Haiti i prefer to travel by taxi and taxi is very cheap in Haiti. you can take tap taps in Haiti wich are private trucks and vans people use to give rides and these are dirt cheap forms of transport but they are dangerous i have been on some that had no breaks what at all!! and i have dealt with many of them trying to over charge me and cheat me and many rude racist passengers who have nothing but hostile comments to make to me all the while some one is dripping a box of raw meat near you and live chickens are flapping all over while the driver is going to fast down narrow mountain roads in a shanty of a car that is about to break down at any moment and there is black smog filling your lungs and you choke on exhaust fumes.
with all that being said i have had some tap tap rides that have been very nice and the drivers and passengers were very polite and kind but long story short take a taxi.
Jamaica has some good taxi drivers but make contacts there are many taxi drivers that will try to charge you insane prices if they think you are non Jamaican and if you argue they will go into a violent rage some find some good honest taxi drivers get their number and keep with them and the same can be said for Haitian taxi.
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